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Boston city councilors agree to stop bullying other councilors' employees, but measure approved today has no specific enforcement measures

The Boston City Council today unanimously approved a measure that calls on councilors to stop bullying subordinates, especially ones who work for other councilors.

But the measure, which also bans council employees from acting as bullies, contains no specific mechanism for enforcement against councilors. People with complaints about abusive councilors could complain to the City Council President, who would then decide what to do.

Lead sponsor - and current council president - Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, downtown) acknowledged the lack of enforcement against councilors themselves - any toughs on their staffs could be fired - but said he hopes the measure will become a framework for future councils to deal with. He said that in an August meeting, councilors worried about the distinction between bullying and robust public discourse by elected officials.

Flynn first proposed the measure in May.

The measure does contain a long list of bullying activities, from name calling and screaming to physically attacking someone to giving them the finger or excluding them from work or other groups. It also has an out for somebody having a bad day - somebody who engages in one of the activities just once is not considered a bully.

Free tagging: 
PDF icon Anti-bullying proposal330.79 KB


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...is an empty gesture. I support Council President Flynn, but this does nothing.


As a councilor, Magoo tried to get some enforcement in this rule, but alas Magoo was not successful. If Magoo climbs the ladders of power and assumes the council presidency, Magoo shall triumph in this anti bullying enforcement endeavor. Magoo.


It says something about the people elected to the City Council that such a measure is needed. Fighting amongst themselves is bad enough; bullying other people's employees is inexcusable.


This is unecesary in the first place but they should fine councilors and their staff for bullying or other discriminary behavior and donate the money collected to non profits.....


Stop electing these (expletives).


These offenses lead to an involuntary termination. It should be no different for a city councilor.


This proposal notably does not include doxxing which one City councilor did to another's staff person. They ended up having to change their long-held phone number because of it.

This along with the lack of enforcement makes this the worst kind of symbolic legislation.

Louise Day Hicks is looking up and smiling.